Oil painting on canvas, A Sibyl, after Anton Raphael Mengs (Aussig 1728 – Rome 1779), after original of 1761. A three-quarter-length female in Renaissance rustic dress of brown cloak and white linen dress beneath, with a turban headdress turns to her right to look at the viewer, leaning her head on her right hand, and her left is in her lap holding an open book. Guercino painted many Sibyls in this three-quarter-length format, but none is the model for this, and all have their identities clearly indicated by inscriptions. Domenichino and Reni also painted Sibyls, but only as half-lengths. This more generalised image is eighteenth century in feeling; its closest affinity lies with Gavin Hamilton's Emma Hart, later Lady Hamilton, as a Sibyl, in a private collection, to which it might be the pendant, did that picture not already have one, of Emma Hart as Hebe; but the handling is blander than Hamilton's, nor can the dark-haired model here have been Emma. Benjamin West also copied the original in 1762.
On loan from a private collection
Makers and roles
after Anton Raphael Mengs (Aussig 1728 – Rome 1779), artist
Guercino (Cento 1591 – Bologna 1666) , artist